In the romantic comedy, AMERICAN FRIENDS, Ashby, a fussy senior tutor at St. John’s College in Oxford University in England in the late 1800s, goes on a holiday to Switzerland. His extra-curricular activities include walking in the clear-mountain air. What Ashby in his well-ordered life does not expect to face is a mid-life crisis in the chance meeting of two American women: Miss Caroline Hartley and her 18-year-old ward, Miss Elinor Hartley. He soon finds himself infatuated with Elinor, but then, is suddenly recalled to England. The Hartleys unexpectedly follow him and visit him at St. John’s, and Ashby finds his life turned upside down by something to which he had not realized he was susceptible–namely, love.
Former Monty Pythoner and writer, Michael Palin dips into his great-grandfather’s travel diaries for this humorous love story. AMERICAN FRIENDS focuses on that time when, as a middle-aged bachelor, his great-grandfather fell madly in love with a 17-year-old American girl while on a Swiss mountain-climbing holiday. It is a film about the heart ruling the head. Although there is very little objectionable material, the screenplay lacks luster. Furthermore, though the performances are uniformly convincing, not one is of particular note. However, the scenery and costumes are pleasing to the eye. How DID women of the Victorian age walk let alone climb mountains in those dresses?
(H, L, NN, S) A mild romantic period piece marred by: 2 obscenities, fornication implied (nothing shown) and posterior view of male anatomy.